Ben Mulroney to depart etalk anchor chair
Will continue to host Your Morning, cover red-carpet events
CTV says Ben Mulroney will step down as anchor of etalk to make room for "diverse voices" after a scandal involving his wife, Jessica Mulroney.
Ben Mulroney announced his immediate departure as the face of the celebrity news show on Monday's broadcast of his other hosting gig, Your Morning, which he will continue to helm. He will also still cover red-carpet events for etalk, including the Oscars, and develop new projects for Bell Media Studios.
It was his first show back from a "scheduled vacation," according to Bell Media, as his family dealt with the fallout of accusations that Jessica Mulroney harassed Toronto lifestyles influencer Sasha Exeter over her comments on anti-Black racism.
"I love my wife. However, it is not my place to speak for her," Ben Mulroney said.
"Together, we are committed to doing the work to both learn and understand more about anti-Black racism, as well as learn and understand more about our blind spots."
CTV dropped Jessica Mulroney's reality series I Do, Redo earlier this month after Exeter said the celebrity stylist lashed out at her and "tried to silence a Black woman."
Exeter said Mulroney misinterpreted a social media call to support Black voices as a personal attack. She said Mulroney threatened to speak to other companies about Exeter's behaviour, which could jeopardize her brand partnerships. Mulroney also sent a message to Exeter suggesting she may pursue legal action.
Mulroney later acknowledged her behaviour was "wrong" and apologized. In a statement on Instagram she said she would step away from her professional engagements to "reflect, learn and focus on my family."
Cityline, Good Morning America and Hudson's Bay also cut ties with Jessica Mulroney, who catapulted to global fame when her friend Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, joined the royal family.
'My privilege has benefited me greatly'
Ben Mulroney told viewers Monday that he hopes his etalk replacement is Black, Indigenous or a person of colour.
"My privilege has benefited me greatly. And while I have certainly worked hard to build my career, I know that systemic racism and injustice helps people like me, and harms those who aren't like me often in ways that are invisible to us. This needs to change," he said.
His etalk co-anchor Lainey Lui was one of the many media personalities who weighed in on how destructive Jessica Mulroney's behaviour was for Exeter and other Black women and women of colour, writing on her blog that the stylist's apology "fell short, again."
Nanci MacLean, vice-president of Bell Media Studios, said in a statement the broadcaster is committed to diversity and will begin the process of finding a new etalk anchor in the next few weeks.
A representative for Bell Media said the new host will be a "diverse voice." Ben Mulroney, who is the son of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, has appeared on etalk since its inception in 2002.